Ordinary Time Earnings

Use this list to work out which payments count as ordinary time earnings (OTE) or salary and wages for super guarantee.

About payment types

As an employer, you use:


  • OTE to work out the minimum super guarantee contribution for your employees. OTE is the amount you pay employees for their ordinary hours of work, including things like commissions and shift loadings.
  • salary and wages to work out the super guarantee charge. You only need to do this if you missed paying the minimum super guarantee contribution by the due date. Salary and wages are similar to OTE but also includes any overtime payments.

payment types


PaymentSalary or wagesOTE
Overtime hours over and above the ordinary hours stated in an award or agreementYesNo
Overtime where the ordinary hours of work are not stated in an award or agreement, or not separated from other hoursYes- all hours workedYes- all hours worked


Casual work, piece work and commissions

PaymentSalary or wagesOTE
Casual employee shift loadingsYesYes
Casual employee overtime paymentsYesNo
Piece-rates – no ordinary hours of work statedYesYes


An empty subway station at night, representing the concept of ordinary time earnings.


PaymentSalary or wagesOTE
Allowance that are not a predetermined amount to offset a particular expense (for example, allowances for paperwork completion)YesYes
Allowance by way of unconditional extra payment (for example, the employee has complete discretion on whether to spend the allowance)YesYes
Expense allowance expected to be used in fullNoNo
Danger or site allowance (these are OTE unless they are intended to offset particular expenses)YesYes
Retention allowanceYesYes
On-call allowance outside ordinary hours of workNoNo
Hourly on-call allowance for ordinary hours of work for doctorsYesYes



PaymentSalary or wagesOTE
Reimbursement of expenses, including travel costsNoNo
Payment for unfair dismissalNoNo
Workers’ compensation – returned to workYesYes
Workers’ compensation – not workingNoNo


A neon sign that says, 'Time is precious, representing the concept of ordinary time earnings.


PaymentSalary or wagesOTE
Performance bonusYesYes
Christmas bonusYesYes
Bonus labelled as ex gratia but in respect of ordinary hours workYesNo
Bonus in respect of overtime onlyYesNo



PaymentSalary or wagesOTE
Annual leaveYesYes
Annual leave loading – clearly linked to lost opportunity to work overtimeYesNo
Annual leave loading – all otherYesYes
Family and Domestic Violence leaveYesYes
Sick leaveYesYes
Parental leave – e.g. maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leaveNoNo
Ancillary leave – e.g. jury duty, defence reserve serviceNoNo
Long service leaveYesYes


termination payments

PaymentSalary or wagesOTE
Termination payments – in lieu of noticeYesYes
Termination payments – unused annual leave, long service leave or sick leaveYesNo


This article is for general information only. It does not make recommendations nor does it provide advice to address your personal circumstances. To make an informed decision, always contact a registered tax professional.

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